Prior to the Book Week, a Reading Camp stakeholders’ forum was hosted from 2 – 3 September at Bundu Lodge. The Reading Camps are a Penreach initiative in which volunteers host Foundation Phase children in their respective homesteads after school and assist them with homework and reading activities. Penreach provides all the necessary material, including books, in what are known as Book Banks.
According to Ms Shiellah Makhubele, the Co-ordinator for Literacy and Numeracy at Penreach, the inadequacy of libraries can be easily countered by this initiative. The forum saw forty-five volunteers, three educators and three principals share ideas on how to sustain the reading camps as the project comes to an end by the end of this year. There are currently 72 Reading Camps in the Pienaar, Daantjie, Msogwaba and Clau-Clau areas reaching out to at least 1 500 Grades 1, 2 and 3 learners in different primary schools.
Penryn College learners this year also played a significant part by going into the community and reading story books for the children attending the Reading Camps as well as teach them educational games.
Another highlight was a Penreach Read-A-Thon which was held on 8 September at the Msogwaba Community Hall in which 35 primary schools and in excess of 350 children took part. The two guest speakers, Mrs Ethel Khoza, the Deputy Chief Education Specialist (Foundation Phase) and Ms Jane Bauling, a renowned author of note with 22 novels in her name, praised Penreach for the successful effort in mobilising the poor communities into the right educational direction through its various projects and programmes.